Oh, our very Alec smart!
He will never grow old. Age has stopped somewhere by his side. Today only I saw him posting a letter to North Pole through an out-of-town letter box!. And the letterbox seemed to be worn-out, nobody near it, only our Alec smart. Does anybody from the South Pole not read any letter? Or, write? Is that why Dennis is writing to his North Pole pals? Yes, that is our beloved Dennis! As his menacing image always captivates me, this particular one made me nostalgic, made me grave with memory.
I know no one writes to the Colonel now…
So,I delved deep into introspection, memory made me so introspective and nostalgic…
There was a time when in India Runners, Dakharkaras (postmen) carried errands for the people. A brown slouch bag dangling on a short spike, he carried it on his shoulder with a ringing bell and a lamp in his hand. He walked miles after miles all alone through thick and thin and all day long. He carried errands in the form of letters, moneyorders, telegraphs…
At that time life never ran on the fast track. Peoples were just satisfied with the bare necessities. They were warm at heart, cold at the slight prospect of anything of rare tragedy. And they were even more illiterate. Illiterate to write or read a letter. But there were certain charms in erranding letters by the Runners or Dakharkaras. People eagerly waited for getting news which very rarely came for them. Yet they gathered around them.
Such was the charm of those Runners always on foot carrying home some news of sorts.
The myths and mysteries of those days are things of the past.
Then came the regular postal service. The inflows and outflows of letters scaled up. More people were literate then. Everybody used to get letters and write letters regularly. Sometimes the letters were pages after pages as if the writer was wont on making a clean breast of his heart – the whole heart poured over the paper in black and white just stopping short of creating an epic of his heart and soul. Yet the epics they were, epics of everyday life and love. Lovers exchanged billet-douxes, loving sweet nothings changed hands like loving rains changing the skyline in swift successions. And there was time, a whale of time to see and show the warmth of heart. Warmth was the tagline, closeness and belongingness were the bottomline of all exchanges.
And there were not many telephones or audio-video super-crafts. Letters were the only handicrafts of heart-to-heart communications. No super-duper gadgets came in the way of touching the right chords of the heart of those willing to see and show the unmasked faces in cognito in the speculum of letters. Letters were mirrors of those soulfuls. They never betrayed their souls. They were so conspicuous, conspicuous in their warmth of the soul like in works of literature. And as there were times to spare for reading and writing literature, the writing of letters like works of literature was a way of expressing one’s of love, sympathy, inspiration, pain and pleasure, burning desire etc.
Letter writing was an art, a way of exchanging artistic feelings of the heart
But those happy days were numbered in days and years.
And no one and no more now writes a letter to the Colonel…
Sometimes the Colonel gets a one-liner like how r u?
r, u? Do letters per se mean anything? Or, some mono-syllables? Or, smileys? If somebody writes (smiley of heart) 4 (smiley of heart) 2 u, what does it mean? Does it express true LOVE. Does a smiley of love semantically express love to anybody or is that love ever heart-felt? These are all open questions. And this is the way the GenerationX loves to express themselves. This is their way of writing with not much touch of actual feelings. They tend to write but they never write. They are on the fast track, they cannot spare time to write their right feelings in long sparse moments of actual feelings – the right feelings have been banished in quest of something hard-boiled…
This is the age of internet. And internet has created a culture of its own catering to the tailor-made needs of the GenerationX.
The human touch is conspicuously missing as in a hand-writing letter.
And bloody letters and smileys have become much more evidently important than words of love and smiles.
Emotion has given way to commotion.
Yes, commotion of the age of Tofflerian ‘Third Wave’. Who cares for schmaltzy flow of emotion?
Who cares to share tears of love and smiles as there are many more mundane things to share in ‘callous cash-nexus’. And callous cash-nexus is the zing thing of the age of Third Wave.
So, the postman has been asked to relieve of his duties once and for all. In this age of speed, who needs the snail-mail when e-mail runs fast and thick around the world in less than a nano-second at a click of the mouse?
Internet has not only created a distinguished culture but also a distinguished language of its own. That language basically serves the purpose of e-mails. This language is heartlessly and artlessly mechanistic and is more assertive than creative. It can be the servant of business but not the master of mind. If everything is business-like only, what is life as such. e-mails which run faster than our mind cannot be the outlets of our emotions. Our emotions require trust of every bit of our mind and soul.
E-mails are the heartless and artless way of communication. It communicates millions of ‘informations’ but it does not share the heart and soul of the communicator. And it cannot, so to say.
It is more of an indicator of this soulless world. If this soulless world has come to stay, then the age of e-mails has all the forebodings of ominous future to stifle the flesh and blood of our lives.
The Colonel waits and waits – when the postman will knock at his door, when somebody will write him a letter…
But nobody writes him a letter…
Only some smileys gather around his vision… he does not understand what they mean or say…
Will anybody ever write him in black and white?
Oh, our very Alec smart!